Burger Hunter

Burger Hunter: Uncle Franky’s

uncle frankys

Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.

At the end of the trendiest street (Quincy) in Twincy and just across the block sits a restaurant that thankfully is lost in time. In the era of swanky this and that with million dollar makeovers this place is historically kitschy and crushing it. Uncle Franky’s is a dog joint and I definitely suggest getting one but I went for the triple cheese burger with bacon. The menu is on a chalkboard which is always a good sign. Yup it is . . . I know you just thought about it. Let’s start with the bun, it’s regs but butter grilled and sized correctly. Burgers got some flavor. Gotta be the old flattop. You could put a cardboard box on that grill and it would taste good. FR. Seasoned hundo p. Guessing chuck but the pack is all the way firm. That cheese tho is the best part. I went to Swiss town and it was all over the place.  And thank you Uncle Franky for that. Onions are minced and on the bottom.  Bacon is fried and from mars. I didn’t understand it. Anywho, this burger is noteworthy and they have a great juicy so mark it down. Comes with some crinkle cut potato logs. Served piping hot! Also the MinneSoda fountain pop is a must. Sitting in this place really brings you to another era.  The ceiling fan. The smell. The chef yells out to you to double check your order. They even have a special of the day that’s under $5. When I got up I thought it would be farmland out those doors. Tasted good—felt amaze! 

Scorecard:   Flavor: 7.7   Presentation: 5   Originality: 7

Uncle Franky’s, 728 Broadway St NE, MPLS; unclefrankys.com


Burger Hunter: Five Guys

Five Guys

It’s the Burger Hunter! Mike S. gets a ton fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.

Now that you’ve celebrated our Independence, it’s a good time to pledge your loyalty to a guilty pleasure or two. Mine and yours is Five Guys. You can still be a foodie or a locavore or whatever, you’ll still work these fine fellas into your mix. They do it right, folks. Fresh AH. FR! Pro tip: There’s no freezer in any Five Guys restaurant. So they got that going for them, which is nice. Ingredients are always popping. The Bacon Cheeseburger with two patties is the Ave I went down. Went naked this time just to taste the beef, but I strongly suggest adding some garden. The meat is v good and mo def Five Guys flavor. Not sure if it’s in the light seasoning or just the beef. Patties are seared up but not crispy. Very juicy inner with American cheese wads coming correct in each bite. Think classic double 1/4 pounder but the best one you’ve ever had. Bacon on the bottom. Not sure why but it’s down there and in pieces. Not strips. The bun is sesame, good enough but not great by any means. Fries are woke and potato is from the farm they post on the wall. Fried in peanut oil. My fav part is the bag fries. Their bit is to dump a ton of extras in your bag with all the food. It’s like a Ricki Bonus. Now if you know what that is we all impressed! Another nice touch is the free peanut gallery. Hey it’s summer, go nuts!

Scorecard:   Flavor: 7.9   Presentation: 5   Originality: 6

Five Guys, 2300 Hennepin Ave S, MPLS; fiveguys.com


Burger Hunter: Peppers & Fries

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You didn’t think we’d skip Burger Hunter this week, did you? Mike S. gets a ton fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us, so we’ve got to keep the coverage coming! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.

You tell me this town ain’t got no heart . . . Cruise up and down Lake Street, roll down your windows and enjoy the beautiful diversity of flavors that’ll suit just about anyone’s fancy. You just gotta poke around. This one road alone could out eat the entire state of Rhode Island. East a bit on Lake dwells the food paradise of Peppers & Fries. It’s a sports bar that’s got a big MN Twins following but it feels like you’re in a fancy William Arena. Where the hell is Clem Haskins anyway??? Peppers PB&J burger is lit. No doubt folks add this beauty to your list. Don’t freak, you protein packin’ super scared of carb freaks. It’s a big 1/3 thick and juicy. Nice crisp outer, inner is medium and the chew is out of bounds. A nice grind on this angus. It’s topped with a thin to win layer of peanut butter that is without any argument the greatest spread ever invented. You could survive in the woods for a month on a big jar of PB. Put it on everything! This burger has a terrific pepper jelly that adds a touch of sweet heat to the now nutty tasting beef. It’s just wonderful.  Maybe you had too much too fast. Topped with platform crispy bacon and a light cheddar. Bun is hundo p bakery fresh. P.J. Murphy’s I believe. Puffy. Now the fries are the real deal so get them. I sat right next to a box of Idaho beauties so it’s like, “yeah I’m getting you.” They have damn good food here. Let freedom ring on Shakedown Street! 

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.1   Presentation: 5   Originality: 9

Peppers & Fries, 3900 East Lake St, MPLS; peppersandfries.com


Burger Hunter: Timber Lodge Steakhouse

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Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.

Look up we are in Bloomington! A city besides MSP that actually has buildings. This hunt is so 1997 and we’re up north at the Timber Lodge Steakhouse. Now I’ve been saying for awhile that a good steakhouse almost always delivers a dynamite burger. Have a taste of nostalgia for size. Always hearted hard on T-Lodge. Who didn’t have a good meal there? FR! Place is lit. Now they’ve kicked it up a notch with some gourmet burgers and that’s my cue. The Bacon Cheeseburger is big times running for something! It’s bossy and has it all. They call um Butcher Burgers and this is why –> the meat is locally sourced from a single steer that comes from Blooming Prairie, MN. Top marks for all that. Timby admit-tingly uses their pals Lowry Hills Meats to get their special grind. The flavor is perfy. Flat top cooked with good meat sears on the outer and v juicy insides. Thick and med/light pack. So you do get a few crumbly pieces as you devour. The chew is goals. There’s a heavy salad, LTO & fresh ah! They get it from their own produce farm, which is nice. TBH it’s noticeably nice. There’s a little BBQ sauce that acts as a dressing. The bun is choice! Super fresh from Baker’s Field Flour & Bread in the Food Building in Nordeast. I loved this bun and would eat it just plain. Damn Gina. The burger comes with Neuskie’s Bacon and I shouldn’t need to explain the quality there. Hundo p. It’s smothered with a fab cheddar from Bongards. Lots of local and lots of love. I’m in a cabin folks. It’s pretty nice. Oh Timber Lodge you’ve never disappointed me. And to think how long it’s been. Damn I’ve missed you. Glad we’re back!

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.2   Presentation: 8   Originality: 10

Timber Lodge Steakhouse, 7989 Southtown Dr, Bloomington; timberlodgesteakhouse.com


Burger Hunter: Smashburger

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Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.

Busy summer months are all the up in your business. This much needed pit stop is before all 18 weddings and 22 graduations. Smashburger time folks. Yeah, this place is legit. It’s your high end fast food burger joint and I’m a card carrying member of the Smash Club. Actually it’s just an app. But there’s mad deals up in there! The BBQ, Bacon, & Cheddar is my steady. Let’s start with the bun, it’s eggy and butter grilled. Pretty good. The meat is never frozen, fresh and obvi smashed down onto the flattop. Burger is served simmering hot yet v juicy. Big, flat and cooked just passed medium. It’s kinda greasy but not offensive. Multi napkin affair. The meat is angus and right on flavor profile. Clean and seasoned simply. It’s topped with some haystack onions that are better than 98% of the onion rings out there. In fact, you can get a side of them and you’d be winning if you do so. There’s a fab town cheddar on dare and it’s to live for. Creamy and dreamy. Gooey and golden. A person oughta do two pieces . . . I’m being extra but whateves. The bacon is really breakfy and applewood smoked. The produce punch is fresh and crisp so get some if you’re into it. Lettuce your ride. Comes with a BBQ sauce but I’m a condo side guy. You control the levels. Love Smashburger every time. Consistent and the shoe string fries are a must.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.4   Presentation: 6   Originality: 7

15 locations in the Twincy metro, smashburger.com


Burger Hunter: Anchor Fish & Chips

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Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.

 

Ahoy polloi. Summertime and the livin’ is easy. This hunt we head to 13th Ave for the legendary fish fry line out the door place. Yup, it’s The Anchor Fish & Chips! Let’s get right to it. You get a burger at fish place? Damn right I do. And if you knew what was good for you, you’d do the same. Okay . . . we just had to talk that out. Glad we’re still friends. Pro Tip: Order the Fish & Chips as your appetizer! Your shipmate will be impressed. Now you’re settled in, on to the Burger & Chips. It’s packin’ Peterson Farms beef with their sweet limos (Limousin cattle from France) hella fresh kinda steaky smooth, but grass fed so clean and gentle. The texture is unique and hundo p made me want more and more. Nicely seasoned and salt is dialed. Medium and juicy. Bun is potato and from the French Meadow Bakery. Buttery grilled and just right. Arhhhhhhhh. The Irish Cheddar is whispering. It’s good, but double up if you cheese two. Get it? Says 1/3 lb, feels like a 1/2 pounder, so it kinda needs 2 slices. Anywho, the salad is monster . . . crispy and fresh. Tomato was better than textbook. The below deck bun gets a wonderful bath of flavor from all the meat juices and moisture. It holds court but becomes this whole new area of delight. Burgers on point . . . FR. List worthy even. The fries are wedgy and creamy good. You might even hear the fry chef say “nailed it”. Gotta love taking pride. Good work Anchor. I tip my sailor hat to you!

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.3   Presentation: 6   Originality: 7

Anchor Fish & Chips, 302 13th Ave NE, MPLS; theanchorfishandchips.com


Burger Hunter: Shake Shack

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Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.

Driving across town to the biggest Mall in America has never felt so exciting. This hunt is all about the best things in life—like Shake Shack. Seriously folks, believe the hype. The ShackBurger is one of the best around. FR. Now always patty up when available. Here it’s a double so go there. Trust . . . The meat is from local legends the Revier Cattle Co and they set the farm bar pretty high in Minnesota. The grind is a mix of love that I really don’t know. My best guess is angus with brisket. Menu says hundo p angus. Either way, it’s so good you won’t care. Cliff Clavin your beef some other time. This ones all about living in the moment. Each and every bite. The cheese is out of control. You almost think it’s a Jucy Lucy! I long for it. Hard. It’s creamy and perfect. Now this burger is cooked medium and is juicy to the nines. Glistening and drip forward. The bun is potato, small and butter grilled. Just right. Get the ShakeSauce on the side so you can taste this meat. The sauce is likely just a combo of all the fav burger condos. Good for some Belgiums. Dips fool! The fries are crinkle cut and super hot. Shake is in the name so you better believe they got game. And they do. No ice chunks here. Bring the fam and hit some stores but I guarantee you it’s the burger you’ll remember most!

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.8   Presentation: 6   Originality: 8

Shake Shack, Mall of America #332, 60 E Broadway, Bloomington; shakeshack.com